Fresh Kitchen Makeover on a DIY Budget

To get the kitchen of their dreams, one couple did their remodeling homework, learned a few new skills, and put their DIY know-how to the test. See how their manual labor paid off to create this kitchen masterpiece while sticking to a budget.

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Before: Building Blocks

This dated kitchen was 240 square feet of builder-grade boring. The cabinet and countertop quality was worth keeping, but the rest was replaced on a do-it-yourself budget. Rather than saving for years to replace the cabinets, the homeowners researched, tested, and applied new skills to accomplish an affordable facelift, giving them faster results and more satisfaction. 

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After: Affordable Style

Transforming the cabinets involved sanding, applying spackling to fill the oak's grain, priming, and spraying on coats of a self-leveling, water-base enamel. The result: like-new, ultra smooth cabinets for less than $300. The homeowners also taught themselves to tile a backsplash, saving even more on big-ticket kitchen features.

Create Your Kitchen Remodeling Budget

Sink Swap

A new apron-front sink hides raw countertop edges -- a result of cutting out a section of the granite with an angle grinder. It was a risky project the homeowners are glad they did but don't necessarily recommend. This IKEA sink fits a standard 36-inch base cabinet.

Topped Off

The kitchen island was built using a marble slab found on Craigslist. The legs were carved from lumber purchased for a discount online. The homeowners whitewashed the wood to create a blended look between the marble top and white-painted cabinets. Wicker baskets below house towels and other dry goods.

DIY Kitchen Decor

Every Inch Counts

Useful storage hides in this custom range hood. The homeowners created the look of a high-end range hood by building a shell for a standard undercabinet vent. The front panel of the hood has a friction lid support (the kind used on toy boxes to hold the lid open), so it's easy to grab what you need with just one hand.

At a Glance

Listen to music in the kitchen without taking up valuable counter space with speakers! Dividers, shelves, and pullout trays in this paneled pantry organize food, cookbooks, and electronic equipment (a cable box, DVD player, and speakers) that works remotely with the family room television.

Bonus Space

The remodel allowed for streamlined style between the kitchen and breakfast nook. The same paint color featured on the cabinetry was used to repaint the dining chairs and banquette, which the homeowners built to house storage for linens as well as seasonal dishes and glassware.

Kitchen Cabinet Makeover Tips

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